NEWARK - Witnesses say a Dodge Charger carrying four teenage shooting suspects was speeding before it crashed into a tree in Newark Wednesday night.
Neighbors say they saw state police officers pursuing the car, and rushing to apprehend the suspects after the crash at Elizabeth and Lyons avenues. Security footage captured the car weaving through traffic, and forcing another car off the road and onto the sidewalk.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office has identified the four young men who bailed out of the wreck and tried to run. Jerome Anderson and Kyle Teague, of Newark, Percel Coston, of Irvington, and Rajee Stokes, of Orange, have been charged with murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses.
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Sources say all four 19-year-olds have prior convictions, and describe three of the teens as known gang members. They are accused of killing 26-year-old Cameron Drayton, who was gunned down that night at 32 Isabella Ave.
An innocent bystander was also struck, but authorities say the 53-year-old woman will survive her injuries.
Police say four guns were found at the crash scene. They also say the getaway car was carjacked prior to the shooting.
A Newark police spokesman calls the chase justified, adding that it meets state guidelines for police pursuits.